Coupland Civic Organization preps for annual Choo Choo Fest

On Sunday, Oct. 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., at St. Peter’s Church of Coupland, the Coupland Civic Organization (CCO) will hold its annual Choo Choo Fest, a fundraiser for the restoration of the CCO’s historic caboose.

The barbecue dinner, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., provided by the Old Coupland Inn, features brisket and pulled pork with the famous Old Coupland Inn sauce, new gourmet blueberry sauce, and the Inn’s Texas toast with potato salad, coleslaw and beans. A big thank you to Abbey Road, owner of the Old Coupland Inn & Dancehall, for all her help with Choo Choo Fest.

Tickets are being sold in advance and are $12 per person for adults and $6 per children ages 4 to 10. Tickets can be purchased from any board member or call Susan Schmidt, 512-818-0648; Barbara Piper, 512-856-2635; Becky Sutton, 512-856-2502; or Judy Downing, 512-293-0501.

A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.

It wouldn’t be a Choo Choo Fest without a choo choo, and the Kiddie Express Train is back! From noon to 2 p.m. there will be free rides through Coupland.

As always, the fabulous silent auction will feature antiques, arts and crafts, artwork, collectibles, décor items, toys, services, and much more. Choo Choo Fest also includes a bake sale, and the collectible Caboose t-shirts will be available in new colors.

Previous Choo Choo Fests have raised enough funds to repair the caboose’s exterior, and the caboose has been leveled and rests on new ties and ballast. Work is now underway on repairs to the floor, doors, and cupola windows.

Coupland School Superintendent Tammy Brinkman, Teacher Kathy Hill speak at Sept. 24 CCO meeting

At their Sept. 24 meeting, the CCO heard from Coupland School Superintendent Tammy Brinkman and Language Arts teacher Kathy Hill. Brinkman noted that Coupland’s enrollment is up to 171—about half live in the Coupland ISD.

She said, “I get calls from people who have heard wonderful things about Coupland and who want their children to be enrolled.”

The school has about 18 to 20 students per class, one class per grade level.

Coupland is using technology for things like virtual field trips, robotics, and to attract students at younger ages to STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Annie Violette, a former Coupland student, teaches music, art, and theater. Her students presented a musical last year, and will have another one this spring.

Students participate in athletics, UIL contests, and One-Act Play. Tuck and Tumble holds gymnastic classes at the school. Over the summer, the school updated its computer lab and library.

Brinkman said, “Mrs. Stuchly has been the librarian for 38 years. She just loves the library makeover.”

Brinkman reported, “We did do well in our state ranking; we did meet the standards. Our neighboring districts did not do as well. Round Rock and Austin are the only ones higher than Coupland, and they are huge districts.” Coupland also received an award for distinction in “Comparative Academic Growth.”

Hill, who teaches sixth, seventh and eighth grades Language Arts in Coupland’s Middle School, also spoke. She has had classes that range from four students to 25. She has taught for 28 years, 22 of them at Coupland.

“I want a family atmosphere that’s small, where I’m really able to teach kids,” she said.

Brinkman is happy with the “great new writing curriculum,” and said, “The literature we read impacts kids’ lives forever.”

Her Journalism class produces the school news for the Coupland Herald newsletter. She added, “My speech class is getting high school credit now. Kids are writing and reading and are ready when they go to high school and college. From Coupland, so many kids have done so well.”

At the Sept. 24 meeting, we also welcomed Carlos Salinas, candidate for Place 4 County Commissioner, and his wife Vicki, who came to visit with attendees. Salinas praised the Civic Organization meeting, saying, “Civic engagement is so important, to bring people together and to hold conversations about things that affect everyday lives.”

The annual Halloween event of Trunk or Treat will be held on Saturday evening, Oct. 27, in front of St. Peter’s Church.

Coupland School

Coupland School has announced the new inductees into the National Junior Honor Society. Congratulations to Taylor Clarke, Brenna Floyd, Jaxon Larson, Savanna Miller, Bradley Smith, Beau Bollinger, Rose Simons, Barret Suarez and Kassidy Viktora.

The Scholastic Book Fair preview will be Sept. 24, and the book fair will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 25, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Wednesday, Sept. 26, during school hours, and on Thursday, Sept. 27, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The annual Harvest Festival will be Saturday, Nov. 3, beginning at 2 p.m. This major fundraiser for the PTA will be a day of family fun with inflatables, games, vendors, cakewalk, raffle, and silent and live auctions. In keeping with tradition, the day will end with a delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

St. Peter’s Church

St. Peter’s bi-monthly Seniors Luncheon was held on Sept. 18. Co-Chair Lois Schmidt reports, “Wow! What a good turnout again! Forty-six senior citizens, hostesses, and helpers attended.”

Hostesses were Becky Sutton, Marge Gebhardt, Sandra and Don Wernli, Cynthia and Teddy Wittliff, Emily Garrison, and Lois Schmidt. Helpers were Wanda Walther, Janet Doss and Karen Rhoades.

Schmidt says, “We were glad that Doris Rinderknecht joined us. Thanks so much to William and Charlotte Albert for decorating and to Joyce Henze for Bingo.”

Forty-Two Dominoes also was played. The next luncheon will be the Thanksgiving Luncheon on Nov. 13, at 11:30 a.m.

Charlotte Albert, St. Peter’s Lay Leader, reports that the annual picnic was on Sept. 23. The picnic was moved from the pavilion to the fellowship hall because of the rain.

Albert says, “The church furnished delicious sausage wraps and attendees brought side dishes and desserts. The Czech Chorus performed.”

On Oct. 28, St. Peter’s will hold its annual Kirchenfest, which is German for Church Feast. It will be a reunion of the confirmands from years past.

Coupland Volunteer Fire Department (CVFD)

Firefighter, secretary and treasurer John Roulston-Bates reports that the CVFD will be 40 years old next year, and they will be celebrating their anniversary. The CVFD wants to hear from firefighters who were there at the beginning.

If you were a Coupland firefighter during its first years from 1979 to the mid-80s, or you know of someone who was please call 512-856-0237 or email

The new event of a street fair--with booths, amusements, and food--that the CVFD had hoped to host on October 6 has been postponed. Watch for it in the future.

We will keep you posted on the CVFD Facebook page, the CCO Facebook page, and Nextdoor Coupland.

Blackland Prairie Concerned Citizens Association

The Blackland Prairie Concerned Citizens Association (BPCCA) is just over the county line in Travis County, west of Coupland. They meet the second Monday of every other month at 7 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of New Sweden Church.

President Cliff Kessler conducted the Sept. 10 meeting with about 30 attendees. He commented that the general consensus is that there are problems with speeding traffic, gunfire, loud music at all times, and trash dumping. These problems are difficult to control because the county commissioners do not have authority over these issues; they would have to be granted this authority by the legislature.

Since there is no authority to control subdivisions, Kessler warned, “If and when you decide to sell your property, be careful. Place restrictions in the selling document.”

Kessler reported that he had about an hour conversation with one of Sen. Kirk Watson’s staff about the BPCCA concerns, and she was interested in looking into these concerns.

Kessler said, “We will see if there is any follow-up from them.” He added, “We have created a set of maps so we can track problems and see where they are. That will become very helpful.”

Ruth Hyatt has been investigating the possibility of aerial photography. She introduced Doug and Chris Nelle who have an aerial photography business using drones.

Hyatt commented, “Maybe some situations deserve photography” that can document the problems. She is also interviewing residents and collecting photos of their properties to document the history and value of the area that is endangered.

Kessler said, “Ken Daniels has been talking with one of Commissioner Travillion’s staff members trying to find a time when he will meet with BPCCA members. Ken will continue this effort and keep us posted.”

The next BPCCA meeting is Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. in the New Sweden Church Parish Hall. You can follow them on their Facebook page.

Hermann Sons Life Coupland

Glenda Gebert announces, “Hermann Sons Life Coupland will have its annual Family Night, Tuesday, October 9, 6 p.m., at Meyers Elgin Smokehouse, 188 US 290E, in Elgin. All members are encouraged to attend for good food, good fellowship, and good fun.” RSVP to President Lena Ging or call her for more information, 512-468-0072.

Empty Bowl Fundraiser to Benefit Shepherd’s Heart

Cheryl Cornelius announces the first ever Empty Bowl Fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 13, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at McCrory Timmerman Gallery, 110-112 W. Second St. in Taylor, to benefit Shepherd’s Heart Food Pantry, which serves Coupland, Taylor, Thrall, Thorndale and surrounding areas.

Cornelius said, “Melanie Shaw, who owns the pottery studio, Art Off Center in Taylor, is co-sponsoring this with us.”

Volunteers have already created 200 beautiful and completely unique bowls, and now we need to sell 200 tickets at $10 each.

For that $10, you get a beautiful bowl and you also get a container of soup made and donated by our restaurant sponsors 2nd Street Farm to Market Café, Lucky Duck, and Sirloin Stockade.

There is a preview night and silent auction at Art Off Center, Friday, Oct. 12, from 7 to 9 p.m., 116 W. Second St., Ste. 108, on Potter’s Alley.

Proceeds will help pay off the new refrigerated truck that Shepherd’s Heart had to buy after someone ran into their old box truck, totaling it. For tickets, call Cheryl, cell, 512-970-2524, or land line, 512-856-2221. Tickets are also available at Coat of Many Colors, Shepherd’s Heart Thrift Shop, and Art Off Center.

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